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1.  Moral issues in workplace health promotion 
There is debate to what extent employers are entitled to interfere with the lifestyle and health of their workers. In this context, little information is available on the opinion of employees. Within the framework of a workplace health promotion (WHP) program, moral considerations among workers were investigated.
Employees from five companies were invited to participate in a WHP program. Both participants (n = 513) and non-participants (n = 205) in the program filled in a questionnaire on individual characteristics, lifestyle, health, and opinions regarding WHP.
Nineteen percent of the non-participants did not participate in the WHP program because they prefer to arrange it themselves, and 13% (also) preferred to keep private life and work separate. More participants (87%) than non-participants (77%) agreed with the statement that it is good that employers try to improve employees’ health (χ2 = 12.78, p = 0.002), and 26% of the non-participants and 21% of the participants think employer interference with their health is a violation of their privacy. Employees aged 50 year and older were more likely to agree with the latter statement than younger workers (OR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.02–2.39).
This study showed that most employees support the importance of WHP, but in a modest group of employees, moral considerations may play a role in their decision whether or not to participate in WHP. Older workers were more likely to resist employer interference with their health. Therefore, special attention on such moral considerations may be needed in the communication, design, and implementation of workplace health promotion programs.
PMCID: PMC3299975  PMID: 21710278
Ethics; Participation; Workplace; Health promotion; Lifestyle
2.  The Doctor and the Market: About the Influence of Market Reforms on the Professional Medical Ethics of Surgeons and General Practitioners in The Netherlands 
Health Care Analysis  2011;19(4):388-402.
To explore whether market reforms in a health care system affect medical professional ethics of hospital-based specialists on the one hand and physicians in independent practices on the other. Qualitative interviews with 27 surgeons and 28 general practitioners in The Netherlands, held 2–3 years after a major overhaul of the Dutch health care system involving several market reforms. Surgeons now regularly advertise their work (while this was forbidden in the past) and pay more attention to patients with relatively minor afflictions, thus deviating from codes of ethics that oblige physicians to treat each other as brothers and to treat patients according to medical need. Dutch GPs have abandoned their traditional reticence and their fear of medicalization. They now seem to treat more in accordance with patients’ preferences and less in accordance with medical need. Market reforms do affect medical professional principles, and it is doubtful whether these changes were intended when Dutch policy makers decided to introduce market elements in the health care system. Policy makers in other countries considering similar reforms should pay attention to these results.
PMCID: PMC3212676  PMID: 21267659
Medical professional ethics; Market reforms; Surgeons; General practitioners
3.  Should health care professionals encourage living kidney donation? 
Living kidney donation provides a promising opportunity in situations where the scarcity of cadaveric kidneys is widely acknowledged. While many patients and their relatives are willing to accept its benefits, others are concerned about living kidney programs; they appear to feel pressured into accepting living kidney transplantations as the only proper option for them. As we studied the attitudes and views of patients and their relatives, we considered just how actively health care professionals should encourage living donation. We argue that active interference in peoples’ personal lives is justified - if not obligatory. First, we address the ambiguous ideals of non-directivity and value neutrality in counselling. We describe the main pitfalls implied in these concepts, and conclude that these concepts cannot account for the complex reality of living donation and transplantation. We depict what is required instead as truthful information and context-relative counselling. We then consider professional interference into personal belief systems. We argue that individual convictions are not necessarily strong, stable, or deep. They may be flawed in many ways. In order to justify interference in peoples’ personal lives, it is crucial to understand the structure of these convictions. Evidence suggests that both patients and their relatives have attitudes towards living kidney donation that are often open to change and, accordingly, can be influenced. We show how ethical theories can account for this reality and can help us to discern between justified and unjustified interference. We refer to Stephen Toulmin’s model of the structure of logical argument, the Rawlsian model of reflective equilibrium, and Thomas Nagel’s representation of the particularistic position.
PMCID: PMC2778634  PMID: 16847727
autonomy; coercion; freedom; living kidney donation; moral obligation; psychology

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